Chondrichthyes, Order Rajiformes, Family Rhinobatidae
Time: Middle Cretaceous, Middle Cenomanian Stage (93 million years
mm across, 67 mm in length
Site: Lebanese Lagerstatte, Hajoula, Lebanon
An unusual, rare example of a ray commonly called a guitarfish,
this is a well preserved member known
as Rhinobatos. There are some seven genera and 45 species of extant
Rhinobatids, most of which have similar characteristics to this
90 million year old fossil specimen. The extent of preservation
is remarkable given it is cartilaginous fish. Additionally, it is
entirely natural without painting commonly seen in the fin rays.
Typically, all that remains of members of the Chondricthyes
are teeth, since they are the only real hard parts of the animal.
Preservation such as this is a rare event, particularly given that
juveniles have less calcification than adults.